Other than having another crony turn on him and applauding the loyal opposition party's plea for consideration of a phased redeployment of our troops-there is a long list of them and Gonzales will soon be added to that infamous list, General Petraeus anticipates that the US troops will be starting their phased withdrawal in around 6 months anyway. This is essentially the same time frame that the Democrats want. Why is W condemning the Democrats for bringing attention to what will probably happen in 6 months regardless of W's histrionics? GOP thugs get more votes when they are threatening the security of other people and scaring US red staters.
The article "US commanders admit: we face a Vietnam-style collapse" at http://www.guardian.co.uk/frontpage/story/0,,2023866,00.html states "According to the US military's revised counter-insurgency field manual, FM 3-24, written by Gen Petraeus, the optimum "troop-to-task" ratio for Baghdad requires 120,000 US and allied troops in the city alone. Current totals, even including often unreliable Iraqi units, fall short and the deficit is even greater in conflict areas outside Baghdad.
"Additional troops are essential if we are to win," said Lt-Col John Nagel, co-author of the manual, in an address at the US Naval Institute in San Diego last month. One soldier for every 50 civilians in the most intense conflict areas was key to successful counter-insurgency work."
They don't have nearly enough troops to win, and since this is a pretty simple equation in which the duration of time needed to quell the violence raises exponentially if enough troops aren't in place, Petraeus expects the surge to fail-therefore Petraeus anticipates bailing out of Iraq.
"They know they are operating under a clock. They know they are going to hear a lot more talk in Washington about 'Plan B' by the autumn - meaning withdrawal.
They know the next six-month period is their opportunity. And they say it's getting harder every day."
See, the enemy knows that the US can't stay in Iraq forever. We don't have enough troops or money to continue much longer, or political support for the daily atrocities emanating from Iraq. About the only people who don't realize this are the apathetic red staters.
The March 1, 2007 article "Surge - or huge muddle?" at states that "Luckily, Petraeus, though he may not have his military act together just yet (he's been there less than month), has no intention of leading an ever-larger body of America's finest soldiers down a bloody blind alley. He said yesterday, as he has before, that only politics, not policemen and paratroopers, will finally settle Iraq.
That is a message to Nouri al-Maliki, the leadership of Sciri, the Shia party, Moqtada al-Sadr and the Sunni parties and elders, and to ordinary Iraqis to the extent that they have any control over events, that they had better get focused, and quick....
But this process, however successful (and it is still a long shot) cannot last indefinitely. If it bears fruit, Petraeus will gradually switch to the "go long" handover strategy, which prioritises reconciliation and reconstruction - jobs, schools, electricity, all the things the last four wasted years have failed to deliver.
If the surge isn't working come Labor Day, Petraeus has already said he'll go to Congress and say so, loud and clear. He is not the guy to carry on a hopeless fight. Nor will he want to take the fall for Iraq."
W hitched the US to the weak al-Maliki. W probably identified with the incompetence of al-Maliki. It was never a promising decision.
The article "Six Sadr Loyalists Quit Cabinet in Challenge to Iraqi Premier" at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/16/AR2007041600 explains that "In the first major shake-up of Iraq's fragile coalition government, six ministers loyal to Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr pulled out of the cabinet on Monday over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's refusal to set a timetable for an American troop withdrawal from Iraq.
The action frees Maliki to pick qualified people to fill ministries that are widely seen as ineffective, corrupt and sectarian. Yet it could also deepen tensions with Sadr within the government and on the streets, which could thwart U.S. and Iraqi efforts to bring about political reconciliation and stability, Iraqi officials and analysts said....
Bahar al-Araji, a Sadr legislator said they would no longer have to support Maliki's decisions and their action would give them greater power in parliament.
"We are free because we are not in the government," Araji said. "If the prime minister doesn't do what we want, we can do something to the prime minister. We can make him leave the government."
Haider al-Abadi, a legislator from Maliki's Dawa party Abadi expressed concern that Sadr's legislators, if they do not get what they want, could leave the ruling coalition and the parliament.
"The danger is that they could leave the political process or take to the streets and disrupt the security plan," said Abadi, referring to the two-month-old security offensive to pacify Baghdad. "We need to move very quickly to fill the positions. The situation on the ground is not very good."
It's ironic isn't it? Sadr wants deadlines from al-Maliki because he assumes that al-Maliki will allow the US troops to remain forever without having clearly delineated deadlines. Sadr probably understands al-Maliki's psyche better than W does. Why doesn't W demand clearly delineated deadlines also?
So half of Petraeus's concerns, that of the Iraqis inability to enact political reforms is failing so badly that its main architect, al-Maliki might lose his job as the US infidel's hand-picked stooge. If al-Maliki loses his gig we can all guess at the delays originating from that. The fact that Sadr might allow his "Death Squads" more freedom to commit violence now that he has taken his cabinet ministers out of al-Maliki's government is not a positive sign either.
Petraeus's other concern--that of pressure from the US political system to withdraw seems prescient also.
It states "President Bush and congressional leaders are due to meet this week to discuss possible compromises on strategy and funding for the war in Iraq. Neither side has been sounding conciliatory; that the talks are taking place at all may be due to the chorus of senior statesmen who have been pointing out that a standoff that delays funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will only hurt the country.
Unfortunately, the wise men themselves don't agree on a way out. Lee Hamilton, the Democratic co-chairman of the Baker-Hamilton commission on Iraq policy, published an article on the opposite page last month that was supportive of a House plan to mandate the withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq by September 2008. His Republican counterpart, James A. Baker III, followed with a piece opposing timetables or deadlines for the removal of troops, which are also written into the Senate version of the war funding bill. The crucial difference between Mr. Bush and the Democratic leadership is quite similar to that between Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton. All share the goal of handing responsibility for Iraq to the Iraqi government and army and withdrawing U.S. combat forces as quickly as possible. The difference is whether the drawdown should happen according to a timetable drawn up in Washington and disconnected from events in Iraq, on the theory that a continuing American military presence won't much change the direction of events; or whether it should be linked to progress on the ground, in the hope that the United States still can influence events and leave behind an Iraqi regime capable of defending and sustaining itself.
One way out of the dispute is what Mr. Baker and Mr. Hamilton arrived at. Their bipartisan report set a date for the withdrawal of combat forces-March 2008 but only as a goal."
If they aren't laboriously specified how does anyone know if the political reforms are being made satisfactorily and how does someone hype up the biggest event in any war-the withdrawal of combat forces and then deflate it as only being a goal?
Why all of the incendiary language coming from W then when what he and the Democrats want are the same, except for semantics?
The article "Final War Funding Bill in Works" at puts the numbers to the polls that W and Rove are constantly comparing. It states "Congress and the White House will move this week toward a final showdown over a contested war funding bill, with most Americans trusting Democrats over President Bush to set Iraq policy but with sentiment deeply divided over Congress's push to set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces...
The president has taken advantage of Congress's spring recess to pound Democrats over their legislation, which would impose benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet; create strict rules for resting, equipping and training combat troops; and set a 2008 date for the final withdrawal of U.S. troops. Despite those efforts, Bush has lost a little ground to Democrats, who in February were trusted by 54 percent to set Iraq policy."
The red staters can see Big bro 43's failed policy for what it is. That's why they trust the Democrats, not W!
When the bickering between the Senate and House ends "The final version is also expected to include House language that would establish binding benchmarks-such as the passage of an oil-revenue-sharing law and the quelling of sectarian violence-for the Iraqi government to meet to ensure full U.S. military support into next year.
But on troop-withdrawal language, negotiators are likely to bend toward the Senate bill, which says troop withdrawals must begin within 120 days after bill passage but sets a date of March 31, 2008, only as a goal for final withdrawals."